He posed a question in this first chapter... "How would your life look if the Holy Spirit left you?"
I really thought long and hard over that question. Unfortunately, after thinking about it, I embarrassingly admitted to myself, "probably not a whole lot different."
It did lead me to ask myself a similar question posed slightly different. "Does my life even look that different because I do have the Holy Spirit?"
Do I live like I have been transformed by the Spirit of God or do I live like everybody else? My wife and I had this talk a month ago. Her answer was that we need to be different as Christians. Our lives should look more loving and compassionate than the next guy. (Pretty much the Chan take on the subject) I had a little different take on it.
I figured since I am saved by grace, and for the most part, a pretty messed up guy, then I should measure my level of the Spirit in me not by whether I look different than the next guy but whether I look different than I would have I not been renewed by God. If I compare myself to the next guy I will always find someone, Christian or not, who appears to be more godly than I am. There will always be people who build hospitals for children, feed the hungry and the poor, care for widows, etc... and not know Jesus. So comparing was a difficulty for me.
So here's my "what if." What if the Spirit of God left me today? Right now! Would I act differently? Would I start living for myself at the expense of others? Would I forsake God? Would I start drinking, driving too fast, cussing, acting unbecomingly? Would I quit being nice to people? Would I divorce my wife? I often think that we assume that only Christians have the ability to keep it together and non Christians lives will just fall apart without God.
So, back to the original question... What would my life look like?
I think I can see where the next chapters in Forgotten God are going, and knowing the way Francis Chan communicates I would imagine he is going to head down the path of, "why does your life not look different since you possess the Spirit of God?"
And that is the question I ask myself today.
- What if I lived obedient to the Spirit of God in all things?
- What if I prayed in the Spirit each moment of the day?
- What if asked the Holy Spirit to intercede on my behalf?
- What if I trusted Jesus when He said it would be better for me to have the Holy Spirit?
- What if I stopped quenching the Holy Spirit? (Eph 4:30)
Would my life look noticeably different?